Most people are aware that there are two main ways to face a charge for driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia – either you’re inebriated due to alcohol or impaired due to an intoxicating controlled substance.
But there’s also a third way for drivers to face charges: if they’re caught operating a vehicle while under the influence of inhalants. What does an inhalant DUI mean, how does it differ from a DUI charge for alcohol or drugs and what are the penalties?
Toxic vapor use prohibited
Under Georgia law, a person isn’t permitted to drive or physically control a motor vehicle while under the influence of any glue, aerosol or other toxic vapor, especially if their impairment makes it less safe for them to drive.
What sets this restriction apart from an alcohol DUI is that there are no specified limits to the amount of inhalants that would trigger a violation.
In an alcohol DUI, a driver’s blood or breath alcohol concentration must hit .08% for them to face DUI charges. But if a driver suffers impairment from an inhalant, officers don’t need to measure how much toxic vapors the person inhaled before they can charge them.
The penalties for inhalant DUI
If a court convicts a person for DUI related to inhalant use, they face the same penalties as those convicted for alcohol or controlled substance-related DUIs.
A first-offense DUI carries up to a year of jail time and $1,000 in fines. In addition, the driver’s license is suspended for up to a year, and they’ll have to pay a reinstatement fee of $210 afterward. A court may also order the driver to spend at least 40 hours of community service.
In conclusion, anything that can cause intoxication and impair a person’s ability to drive can lead to a DUI – whether it’s alcohol, drugs both illicit and medical, or even inhalants. If you face charges, don’t underestimate the court procedure and what a conviction could lead to. Consider consulting a legal professional who can uphold your rights and prepare your defense in court.